At the request of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a U.S. district court has halted a nationwide scam operating from the Dominican Republic that allegedly represented itself as a Chicago-based mortgage assistance relief group providing aid to financially distressed Spanish-speaking homeowners in the U.S.
According to the FTC, the defendants made phony sales calls that promised to dramatically lower homeowners' monthly mortgage payments in exchange for an up-front fee of $995 to $1,500. The defendants collected more than $2 million in fees during the last three years, but failed to provide homeowners with the promised services.
The complaint charges the defendants with violating the FTC Act and the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule. The FTC – which worked with the Dominican Republic's National Institute for the Protection of Consumer Rights on this case – charged Minnesota resident David F. Preiner, who allegedly owns and directs six companies that were named as corporate defendants in the scam.